'The Voice': Who's on our Top 12 power list?

Jake-Worthington.jpg

Image Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Now that the playoffs are over, this season of The Voice has found its Top 12, and it’s time to vote!

You’ve read the recap, and now I present my most updated Power List, ranking the players on where they stand in the competition as of the playoff performances on Tuesday, April 15. Remember, we’ve seen these artists so spread out throughout the year that next week’s first live show will be a sprightly reminder of comparing them all on the same playing field. That explains the major jumps in this list from last week to this week.

What goes into this power list? It’s partly my predictions about how far these people will make it through the competition, coupled with what you’re all saying in the comments, as well as my own tastes, although those may or may not be reflected. (If it was strictly based on my personal preference, Bria Kelly would be at the far bottom, and Kristen Merlin would be significantly higher, for instance.)

Here’s who’s on top and who’s on the bottom as we head into the live shows on Monday:

1. Jake Worthington (Last week: 10)
Easily the singer who got the biggest lift from his playoff. It’s not so much that Jake is a superstar performer, but what he offers to America—more than any other contestant this season—is relatability and empathy. You know Jake, and you want to vote for him so you can fulfill his little heart’s greatest dreams and desires, just as soon as you’re done cuddling with him. There’s an irrepressibly likeable quality to Jake, made all the better by his engaging honesty (his playoff repartee with Blake sealed the deal). And hey, it doesn’t hurt that he can sing, too. Is he the best singer? No. But he might be the most endearing one.

2. Josh Kaufman (Last week: 11)
Boy, is Adam Levine kicking himself that he lost Josh in the battle rounds (he kept Delvin, but still…Josh!!). Thanks to his spectacular take on Bruno Mars in the last episode—nay, performance—of the playoffs, Josh is riding high on the momentum he’s earned both on stage and in his pre-packages. He’ll sail through the first few weeks of the live shows, no doubt benefitting from the fact that he’s the only one of his type this year. As a marketable artist, he could be even more ready for a tour than Jake.

3. Sisaundra Lewis (Last week: 1)
Sisaundra did absolutely nothing wrong to drop two spots on the list—except, perhaps, demonstrate via omission that she might be lacking an emotional connection with the audience that is more present in contestants like Jake and Josh. I don’t dislike Sisaundra, but I think she could be too incredible for her own good, which could rub people the wrong way if she doesn’t show humility. We know she’s the best technical singer in the competition, but that alone won’t earn America’s votes if she can’t get us to believe that she doesn’t have a secret shrine to herself in her bedroom closet. I mean, I’m sure she doesn’t, but, like, can you imagine?

4. Christina Grimmie (Last week: 8)
Christina kicked off the entire season with an explosive four-chair turn audition, but then slowly faded into the background as other equally powerful contestants joined the ranks. She recaptured my attention in her playoff, so the onus is now on her to not let the engine burn out again. If Christina can deliver a consistent string of amazing performances in the first few weeks of the live shows, she’s due to cement her place as a major threat, but the pressure is also on her to not Eternal Sunshine herself.

5. Delvin Choice (Last week: 6)
My colleague and Voice confidante Madison sums up Delvin pretty well: when he’s singing, he’s great, but when he’s not singing, you kind of completely forget that he exists. This is a spot on characterization of Team Adam’s male pride and glory, who really popped in his playoff but has to be more than just “the former Starbucks barista” to stay alive. I’m keeping him near the top this week if only because he’s riding high from his playoff performance, and I’m sure he’s got a lot of fight in him that will translate well on stage in the coming weeks.

6. Dani Moz (Last week: 13)
Along with Josh, Dani probably has the second most momentum going into the live rounds thanks to her radical “Edge of Glory” playoff. What Dani needs to do is follow up with another memorable performance, and she’ll also have to find a way to let the audience get to know her on a more personal level, as she’s a little closed off and trait-less. Can she be Dani the Super Fun Girl? Or Dani the Really Serious About Her Craft Girl? Or Dani the Pop Culture Geek Girl? She needs something, girl.

7. Bria Kelly (Last week: 7)
Ugh. I don’t want Bria to be #7, but I know how this goes. People are going to vote Bria further through the competition than she actually deserves to be—and she’ll likely bypass far better singers like Tess or Audra, who can sing circles around Bria (and aren’t half as irritating). I’m not sure when she became such a polarizing figure, but the votes seem to be pretty split on her, which leads me to place her right smack in the middle of this list. The first live show should make it clear whether Bria belongs.

8. Tess Boyer (Last week: 12)
Here’s another singer whom I would rank higher on the list if it was up to my personal preference, but I don’t think Tess has really clicked with viewers on an intimate level. She’s a little big of an enigma, which I imagine will work against her when it comes to a vote. I think America is more likely to keep Bria longer than they will Tess, UNLESS she packs a powerful punch very early in the live rounds. I wouldn’t rule that out.

9. Kat Perkins (Last week: 16)
People seem to be on board with Kat, and she’s certainly this season’s only female rocker in name and style, which counts for something. I think her weakness will start to show early in the lives, though, so I’m keeping her towards the bottom. You’ll all see what I’m talking about, just you wait.

10. Audra McLaughlin (Last week: 2)
Audra was one of my favorites going into the playoffs, but she burst that bubble when I discovered that she’s got all the inviting appeal of a “Do Not Enter” street sign. What is it about this year’s contestants lacking personality? Audra’s got the name, and she’s got the voice, but she offers very little that will make me pick up the phone (even though, let’s be real, my phone is in my hand at all times). She’s fallen the most from my power list last week, and that’s only because my memory of Audra was a lot fonder than it should have been.

11. TJ Wilkins (Last week: 5)
With a similar singer like Delvin in the top 12—nay, the top 3—TJ won’t stick around that much longer. As Madison puts it, “I’d recommend him for a wedding singer, but not much more.”

12. Kristen Merlin (Last week: 9)
Not being in the public eye during the entirety of battle rounds was the nail in the coffin of innocent Kristen, who did nothing except impress the coaches during her audition and score again during her playoff. History tells us that contestants like Kristen who are woefully ignored for half the season don’t get the screen time they need to last throughout the competition, so expect Kristen to be one of the first to go, though not for any lack of talent.


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